Mark Vogelzang

Piatt County Sheriff Mark Vogelzang in downtown Monticello.

ATWOOD – Law enforcement agencies in Piatt County were busy Wednesday, writing tickets and issuing warnings as part of the Speed Awareness Day enforcement campaign.

In Piatt County, Sheriff Deputies made 27 traffic stops and issued 14 citations, said Sheriff Mark Vogelzang.

“Most were for speed but we had one arrest for driving while license suspended, one warning for distracted driving, two warnings for seatbelt use, and two citations for other violations (no insurance and improper display of registration). The remaining were all speed related,” he said.

Atwood Police Officers issued a total of 10 citations during the campaign with seven of those citations being for speed-related violations, said Atwood Police Chief Rob Bross.

“The speed awareness campaign had a twofold approach,” he said. “That is to combine increased, zero-tolerance enforcement with effective communication to road users on the importance of obeying the speed limit.”

In Monticello, no speeding tickets were issued, but several stops were made and in a few instances, some violations were reported, said Police Chief John Carter.

The speed awareness campaign was a one-day speed enforcement event coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, participating state highway safety offices and their respective law enforcement liaisons. The initiative was held in July because studies show that the most fatal crashes where speed is a contributing factor occur between June and September.

“The hard work of officers in these enforcement efforts are instrumental in preventing injuries and saving lives,” said Bross. “We want to remind the public that speed is one of the leading contributing factors to fatal traffic crashes. There is never a good reason for a motorist to exceed the speed limit and endanger others.”

Law enforcement agencies from five other states including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin also participated.

NHTSA statistical projections for 2021 shows traffic deaths grew by 10.5% to 42,915. This also represents the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the highest annual percentage increase in the recorded history of data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

In 2020 there were 5,413 fatal crashes in the six-state region with 1,668 (30.08%) being speed related fatalities. This was an increase of 17.7% from 2020. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and save lives. There is no reason to speed, it is unnecessary and endangers everyone on the road.

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